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All Intel chips open to new Spoiler non-Spectre attack


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mvp
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Researchers have discovered a new flaw affecting all Intel chips due to the way they carry out speculative execution for CPU performance gains.

Like the Spectre and Meltdown attacks revealed in January 2018, Spoiler also abuses speculative execution in Intel chips to leak secrets.

However, it targets a different area of the processor called the Memory Order Buffer, which is used to manage memory operations and is tightly coupled with the cache.

Researchers from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts, and the University of Lübeck in north Germany detail the attack in a new paper, 'Spoiler: Speculative load hazards boost Rowhammer and cache attacks'. The paper was released this month and spotted by The Register.

The researchers explain that Spoiler is not a Spectre attack, so it is not affected by Intel's mitigations for it, which otherwise can prevent other Spectre-like attacks such as SplitSpectre.

"The root cause for Spoiler is a weakness in the address speculation of Intel's proprietary implementation of the memory subsystem, which directly leaks timing behavior due to physical address conflicts. Existing Spectre mitigations would therefore not interfere with Spoiler," they write...


Read more: All Intel chips open to new Spoiler non-Spectre attack: Don't expect a quick fix | ZDNet

More: SPOILER alert, literally: Intel CPUs afflicted with simple data-spewing spec-exec vulnerability The Register
 

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